current affairs

Back from my Halloween Horror

On the Saturday of Halloween I had an unexpected tour of the Royal Sussex County’s Accident & Emergency department. Not that there is an ideal time, but Halloween night is not a good time to be in A&E, it was busy! My Halloween horror was a nasty concussion and back injury after a garage door came down on my head at speed. It hurt. Through my blurry vision I could see zombie face-painted people in the hospital waiting room, most surreal.

Two weeks of doctor enforced rest and I’m now getting back up to speed. I’m not 100% better, but good enough to get back into the blogosphere. I’ll be relying on my osteopath to get me over the last of the symptoms.

So I’m sorry to disappoint readers like Dan Wilson that I wasn’t able to cover the CityClean strikes, but I was laid up. The strikes are suspended and we’re still awaiting full resolution of the detailed issues at hand. I know Green colleagues were working hard on supporting the unions, but I’m not up to speed on the details.

Meanwhile the selection for the new Tory candidate for Brighton Pavilion continues, with Brighton Politics Blogger stirring up an unprecedented number of Tory comments to his/her blog. Good luck to the candidates, selections are a nerve wracking process. I must flag one issue I have with this process which is still being promoted as an ‘open primary’ when in fact it is an ‘open caucus’. The difference? With a primary anyone in the constituency can register to vote resulting in a larger turnout and so greater representation. A caucus is a meeting where those attending the meeting can vote after presentations from the candidates – it’s a much smaller scale affair and so less inclusive. Regardless, I think open primaries are gimmick which don’t solve fundamental issues with politics.

Attacking other parties for not having selected their candidates in that way is pretty weak in my view. How about having a go at policy differences?!

One of the Tory hopefuls, Scott Digby, has a pop at Greens with the rather tired ‘watermelon’ joke which local Tories having been chortling about for rather too long. But Digby rather misses the point, the joke is that we’re supposed to be ‘Communists’ as Tory cabinet member Cllr Ayas Fallon-Khan likes to allege, not Labour! We couldn’t be more different than Labour, disagreeing on: ID cards, privatisation, education, taxation, wars in Iraq & Afghanistan… I could go on!

6 replies on “Back from my Halloween Horror”


Sorry to hear about your accident as well and I wish you well in your recovery.

I think your point about attacking other parties for not having selected their candidates by way of open primary, sorry, caucus (I think i corrected myself in my comment on BPB’s blog as well) was aimed at me.

My aim was not to attack other parties per se, but more to illustrate the fact, in the light of BPB’s prejudice comments, that whether or not Open Caucuses solve fundamental issues with politics (I don’t agree they are a gimmick and i equally I don’t think that they are flawless), you surely cannot deny the fact that it is at least an attempt to open up the previously closed-door approach to selecting candidates. It can’t be a bad thing to involve more people and to involve constituents in that process can it? My point was that if people really believe there is prejudice in the appointment of PPCs for the conservative party, then go along to the Open Caucus and take part – you can’t then complain that you haven’t had your say.

As for having a go about policy differences, as I said on BPB’s blog, I am politically unafilliated, but I shall attempt in future to comment more on that, but from my own rather than any party angle.

All the best…

Thanks for your comments Ben.

I would never complain that I haven’t had my say in a Tory selection (or any other party’s selection). It is very easy and cheap to join a political party, I think the barriers to entry in participating are low, something like £10/year for the Green Party. I agree open caucuses are an attempt to open up a previously closed approach to selecting candidates… it’s just I don’t think closed (as in party member only) approaches to candidate selection are a problem!


Jason hi
We have our [some amusing]run-ins and that is part of the world we’re engaged in.
However, I did want to say how sorry I was to learn of your accident, which could have been more horrendous. So hope you get back on track soon. A

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